Night's approach to graphic movies


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moonflower843

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Night's approach to graphic movies
« on: June 11, 2008, 12:54:00 AM »
This is my first post here, so hello to everyone.
I am a big fan of Night's movies because they make me think. I like thinking movies (and tv shows) and thus tend to steer towards this genre when choosing what to watch. At first I was excited to find out that Night was doing a new movie, but now I'm not so sure. After seeing the trailers (the normal tv one and the red band ones), I'm heavily disappointed by the graphic nature of The Happening. I'm disappointed cos I'm a dedicated fan of Night's work and don't want to miss a movie of his. I hate graphic anything - movies, tv shows etc (and yes I have of course seen movies of all ratings). I don't think it's necessary to tell a good story by including such graphic images and violence at that level. I think it's far more effective to tell a thrilling story by what you DON'T see (think movies like The Mothman Prophecies or White Noise - nothing was actually shown, it was all conceptual and therefore more thought-provoking). Why not leave it up to the audience to decide what they might see around the next corner?

The trailers for the Happening alone disturbed me. I know I can't assume the entire content of the movie will be like the trailers, but I don't want to see those violent things. I don't want to scar my mind with that stuff. That stuff really scares me (purely because of the way it's shown and not the concept behind it). The Happening is apparently not a gore movie. I'm hoping that's true. At the risk of sounding like a sour old codger - in my opinion, gore is just senseless violence and I don't know why people see it. Surely there's enough violence in society already. I want to watch something that has a deep meaning behind it - a puzzle to unravel or something that makes me say "I never thought about that before". I want to be introduced to a new concept or way of seeing the world. I want to think about this movie for weeks afterwards, in the way I did particularly for The Sixth Sense and The Village. I don't expect a twist in every Shyamalan film, just some substance. Is watching people getting eaten by lions entertainment? I think not.     

The film comes out tomorrow here in Australia (12 June) with a rating of MA15+. I'm going to wait for reviews to find out just how accurate the trailer is in relation to the film overall (after all, we know what happened with the Lady in the Water trailer saga!). If it has a clever, thought-out plot like Night's other movies then I will consider seeing it. I want to go away thinking about the natural world turning on us and it's implications, not how sick I feel because of the violence. I don't want to sound like a wuss, but if it's more leaning towards Sixth Sense-type scenes, fine. If it's totally juiced up to horror violence level then I wouldn't be interested. As they say, this film is not for everyone. Many Night fans will stay on, but there will be some who are disappointed by the R-17 rating.

This is just my personal opinion. I write it because I'm wondering what to do about seeing the movie or not. Anyone else in the same boat?   

Jen
« Last Edit: June 16, 2008, 12:20:22 AM by moonflower843 »

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Re: Night's approach to graphic movies
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2008, 02:02:55 AM »
I don't think it's necessary to tell a good story by including such graphic images and violence at that level. I think it's far more effective to tell a thrilling story by what you DON'T see (think movies like The Mothman Prophecies or White Noise - nothing was actually shown, it was all conceptual and therefore more thought-provoking). Why not leave it up to the audience to decide what they might see around the next corner?

That?s exactly why I?m so curious about The Happening. Shyamalan always stood against graphic violence. He showed us the sound insted of showing us the actually thing, or he showed us a Shadow passing through. When I Saw the R-Rated think it confuses me. But I suddenly realise. If he wrote a movie that needs to show so much, then he?s trying to say something. It must have a meaning.

I understand why one critic compare it with Frank Darabont?s The Mist. When you?re watching The Mist you think it?s just another sci-fi horror movie, with cruel aliens and stuff. But in the end of it, you understand why the Aliens had to be depicted that way. I?m not going to tell much, but I think you?ll love The Mist. If you have the oportunity, watch it! It?s a movie that shakes your head with the mensage their trying to say.

Mr_Glass.1

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Re: Night's approach to graphic movies
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2008, 10:05:52 AM »
I know there will be a message because it is an M. Night Shyamalan film, but I completely understand what you are saying moonflower843, and waiting's not such a bad thing.  Also, after the film comes out you can check out these websites- www.pluggedinonline.com and www.kids-in-mind.com.  They have reviews of the film but focus on the content in the film such and sexual content, violence, and language.   They might be a help.  Also, I'm seeing it Friday, so I'll PM about what's in it, maybe that will help you with your decision.  I was in the same boat, but decided to watch, give Night that chance, that it wouldn't focus on the gore, but be a superb story like the rest of his films.

***Also, anybody else joining this thread, watch what you post, there was a similar thread on this board that got locked down because people were getting mad, please don't do that here.***
« Last Edit: June 12, 2008, 10:01:03 AM by Mr_Glass.1 »
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moonflower843

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Re: Night's approach to graphic movies
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2008, 10:09:27 AM »
Thank you both for your recommendations. I'll investigate both avenues!

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Re: Night's approach to graphic movies
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2008, 01:26:21 PM »
This is my first post here, so hello to everyone.
I am a big fan of Night's movies because they make me think. I like thinking movies (and tv shows) and thus tend to steer towards this genre when choosing what to watch. At first I was excited to find out that Night was doing a new movie, but now I'm not so sure. After seeing the trailers (the normal tv one and the red band ones), I'm heavily disappointed by the graphic nature of The Happening. I'm disappointed cos I'm a dedicated fan of Night's work and don't want to miss a movie of his. I hate graphic anything - movies, tv shows etc (and yes I have of course seen movies of all ratings). I don't think it's necessary to tell a good story by including such graphic images and violence at that level. I think it's far more effective to tell a thrilling story by what you DON'T see (think movies like The Mothman Prophecies or White Noise - nothing was actually shown, it was all conceptual and therefore more thought-provoking). Why not leave it up to the audience to decide what they might see around the next corner?

The trailers for the Happening alone disturbed me. I know I can't assume the entire content of the movie will be like the trailers, but I don't want to see those violent things. I don't want to scar my mind with that stuff. That stuff really scares me (purely because of the way it's shown and not the concept behind it). The Happening is apparently not a gore movie. I'm hoping that's true. At the risk of sounding like a sour old codger - in my opinion, gore is just senseless violence and I don't know why people see it. Surely there's enough violence in society already. I want to watch something that has a deep meaning behind it - a puzzle to unravel or something that makes me say "I never thought about that before". I want to be introduced to a new concept or way of seeing the world. I want to think about this movie for weeks afterwards, in the way I did particularly for The Sixth Sense and The Village. I don't expect a twist in every Shyamalan film, just some substance. Is watching people getting eaten by lions entertainment? I think not.     

The film comes out tomorrow here in Australia (12 June) with a rating of M15+. I'm going to wait for reviews to find out just how accurate the trailer is in relation to the film overall (after all, we know what happened with the Lady in the Water trailer saga!). If it has a clever, thought-out plot like Night's other movies then I will consider seeing it. I want to go away thinking about the natural world turning on us and it's implications, not how sick I feel because of the violence. I don't want to sound like a wuss, but if it's more leaning towards Sixth Sense-type scenes, fine. If it's totally juiced up to horror violence level then I wouldn't be interested. As they say, this film is not for everyone. Many Night fans will stay on, but there will be some who are disappointed by the R-17 rating.

This is just my personal opinion. I write it because I'm wondering what to do about seeing the movie or not. Anyone else in the same boat?   

Jen
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Re: Night's approach to graphic movies
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2008, 08:17:35 PM »
Moonflower, you aren't alone in being a dedicated M. Night fan who is turned off by the idea of the gore.  I heard somewhere that the gore is like that which you see in The Birds, but do visit the sites Mr. Glass gave you for a more detailed account.  I sure will be. ;D
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Re: Night's approach to graphic movies
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2008, 09:33:32 PM »
Moonflower, first welcome to our forum and I hope you enjoy yourself here. I totally understand your point of view, but if you think the movie has an important message. Personally, I never thought M.Night will make a gory movie, but he is a writer and can write whatever he wants to write or how he wants to end it. There is nothing we can do about it. We as fans love his work and his dedication for the work he does. I have seen all his films and I have no complains about them. I was super surprised when they didn't M.Night the academy award for directing and also the movie "The Sixth Sense".

I don't know if you really going to watch it or not, but the movie has an important message. I am going to watch it because he is one of my all time favorite directors/writers and plus the script he wrote for this movie is unique. I love his work. And speaking of gore and stuff, I sometimes enjoy them and sometimes I really don't.

I think you will love the movie, and I also recommend check out the sites Mr.Glass recommended earlier or you can wait for our reviews on this site without spoiler or we can message you personally what we saw. I know where you coming from, you love his work, but you don't like gore.

Rohan

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Re: Night's approach to graphic movies
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2008, 05:56:43 AM »
yes there will be graphic violence guys and not just once...but not in the gore style,we're talking about Shyamalan...

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Re: Night's approach to graphic movies
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2008, 10:04:59 AM »
Woo, where did that come from.  Did you see an advance screening.  If so sweet.  That is encouragin that it's not in the gore style.  By the way moonflower843, welcome to the site, glad to have you aboard.  Also, I am seeing The Happening Friday night, so check out those sites, but I will also PM you and JWMMakerofMusic, with what is in the film.  If anybody else want's that, just let me know.  I'll try to avoid spoilers.  One warning, www.pluggedinonline.com gives a summary of what happens in the movie, though they do post spoiler warnings, you might want to be careful on that site if you don't want anything given away.
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moonflower843

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Re: Night's approach to graphic movies
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2008, 10:22:15 AM »
So I caved and went to see The Happening tonight. You know what, it was shocking in 2 ways - 1. Night still hasn't lost his ability to shock or scare the pants off people. 2. Unfortunately he has lost his ability to write a decent plot!

*possible minor spoilers*
So how did I deal with the graphic violence? I shut my eyes in most graphic scenes (except the tradies jumping like lemmings off building sites - that was freaky just by how the scene was shot with the sound, mark wahlberg with the binoculars, mrs jones) All were shocking, especially the jeep as it happened so suddenly before I had time to think. I only heard the other graphic scenes though. Wussy I know to close my eyes, but I didn't need to see that. I don't do well with that kind of thing at all and couldn't handle it. I went with a friend who had only seen the sixth sense years ago, and she said she didn't like the movie afterwards. *SPOILER* She also wanted the ending to be different. Rather than cut to France only a few months later, sthey hould have left us with a warning message (so one "happening" was enough of a warning to take care of the environment). 

Ok please don't shoot me. I like Night's other movies, but I'm sorry to say, it was 2 wasted hours of my life that I can't get back. If I can describe the movie in three words they would be: flimsy (in terms of the plot), predictable and shocking (the horror). Wait, I'm adding a 4th word - insidious (the whole mood of the film).
The whole thing was one big fat cliche. The fact that there was no depth to any of the characters (with the exception of John Leguizamo's character) didn't make me care for them much at all. I mean evil plants/wind/trees? hot dogs? crazy grannies and blatantly obvious lines like "what's happening?" or "If we're going to die then...blah blah blah". What's ironic is the characters that we meet along the way are crazier than the people affected by the plants.

I don't mean to sound like a sour movie reviewer, but the film was highly predictable, highly unoriginal and just plain grizly violent. Yes I knew I was coming to see a violent movie, I don't deny that, but come on! A little plot wouldn't go astray! It seems that it was just "oh no, there's a virus in plants. Run away! (to the most leafy part of new england, no less - stupid!)" That's it. Was this movie designed to be a joke? If so, it would make more sense.
  
My overall thought was "Night had a semi-interesting idea and there was a plot just TRYING to burst out, but bad acting and bad writing made it fall apart".
The only redeeming part of the movie was the more scientific take on things. Just the mindlessness of it. The human brain's neurotransmitters being overridden, similar to the way a computer virus infiltrates a computer's system by breaking down its safety mechanisms (firewalls etc). At uni I have studied advanced motor control and learning (which looks at the functions of the human brain in relation to sensation and movement, including how neurotransmitters work) so I understand what they are getting at, therefore I was interested in the science of it. One thing was freaky - people topping themselves in such a thoughtless way with no pain, no fear, as if it were no different from say, eating or writing your name. You could really see this bigger picture of how a virus takes hold of a life form. The unexplained nature of it was interesting too. No-one knew what the hell was going on initially, people just started to react violently to it without explanation. It's humans acting contrary to what is normal that scares people I think, and that goes for other things in society today.   

Sorry for anyone who liked this movie *shudders*. I respect your views. Feel free to comment whatever they are. Just my 2 cents worth...
« Last Edit: June 16, 2008, 12:49:20 AM by moonflower843 »

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Re: Night's approach to graphic movies
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2008, 01:10:23 PM »
Re: moonflower843

Everybody's entitled to their own opinion, as are you.  However, I think there's a part of the movie reviewing segment that expects movies to be more artsy, and less grounded in real-life behavior.  I think what many call cliche is simply an honest take on what real people would say and do, and how they'd react.  Arthouse films rarely portray how real people think, act and talk in real life.  While not every line was perfect, I do feel the overall tone of how actual human beings would speak was captured pretty well here.  As for being predictable, maybe it was.  But at least it was predictably good.  Nothings worse than a movie which is unpredictably bad, like No Country for Old Men. 
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I'm a "Signs" person.

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Re: Night's approach to graphic movies
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2008, 03:54:59 PM »
I agree with DILinator.  Also, moonflower843-you are not a wuss.  There were many people who covered their eyes in the theater I went to.  Some people almost left in the opening scene.  I disagree with your opinion about the movie, but everyone is entitled to their opinion.  :)
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Re: Night's approach to graphic movies
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2008, 08:47:35 PM »
I'm new to the forum as well.  After seeing the movie, I had to go online and talk to my friends to see if people were "getting" the movie or not.  Some people seem to absolutely get the movie, some don't.  

In some of the articles I've read, the man himself described the movie as a "B-movie."  The acting, the dialogue, the plot, even the gore is very reminiscent of classic B-movies like "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes."  Betty Buckley's performance in particular was completely over the top!  

It's like he's poking fun at the thought that the environment can attack us.  Remember at the beginning of the movie how the one kid answered "global warming?"  In that kind of joking voice, because (of course) global warming is the pc way of explaining everything that happens nowadays.  The first guy to suggest that it was the plants causing this was kind of a freaky, granola-type that was obsessed with hot dogs - seems like he's kinding of poking fun at environmentalists.

Like all of his movies, this movie has religious undertones as well.  We don't know why things happen.  Many things are unexplainable because God controls it, not man.  If you notice, the last two words of the film are "My God" (but in French).  And, the only man standing in the French park (after everyone else had become disoriented and lost power of speech) spoke those words.  Also notice there are no churches throughout the movie (at least not that I noticed).  Why?  Maybe the people who believed in God and fled to churches to pray survived the "attacks."  Also notice where the attacks happened - in the northeast and then France.  The northeast is more secular than the midwest, and France is more secular than the entire United States.  I think there was also mention of the attacks occuring in California.  These regions are the least religious, coinscidence?

Also the suicide factor - no person who truly believes in God commits suicide because it condemns your soul.  Near the beginning of the movie, there was some statement saying that the toxins reversed a person's self-preservation instinct.  But, it was so much more than that!  Suicide is not lack of self-preservation, but lack of belief in God.  So, say God were to make this happen, would God-fearing people kill themselves?  Or, only people who didn't have faith?  

My friend thought the color theme of the movie was yellow - the mood ring, the flowers in the field, numerous backgrounds.  I think I'd have to see the movie again to get that.  I haven't seen any comments on that, I'm hoping to as more and more people so the movie.


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Re: Night's approach to graphic movies
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2008, 08:54:51 PM »
OK 4 of my 5 favorite movies of all time are Signs, Unbreakable, The Sixth Sense, and The Village. I didn't like LITW at all, except for Giamatti's work. At any rate I am a huge fan of most of Night's work. Signs is an incredible film in so many ways. I am not a fan of violence, but am a fan of the "what you don't see can scare you" when done as well as Night has done so many times :) He's a master of the camera angle itself being integral to the story.

So I am afraid to see this one, it seems from what I can tell to be contrary to what he has done so well. Not that he shouldn't make the movie however he wishes, but the emotions and situations of his charachters, in addition to his mastery of the film medium, have made these others so great.

I have never seen Wahlberg in a very good performance, doesn't seem close Phoenix, Willis, Gibson, Jackson, Giamatti, etc. I don't know if I will like this one...


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Re: Night's approach to graphic movies
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2008, 11:06:44 PM »
there wasnt any attack mentioned in california..It was confined to only the one area.

Also, Samuel L Jackson should be in another Shyamalan movie sometime.
See the villain's larger eyes insinuating a just-off-normal perspective on how they see the world? I see signs Lucius Hunt; just not as you see dead people. I am so very happy we saw..each other, and no I will not tell you what color love is. Stop asking.